18. Roger Moore: My Word is My Bond
My Word is My Bond, The Autobiography by Roger Moore, with Gareth Owen (Canada) -(US)
Pages: 330 +index
Finished: Feb. 3, 2010
First Published: Nov. 2008
Genre: non-fiction, memoir
For years, people have said to me 'Write your book,' and for years I said, 'No, there are too many people I'd have to write about, and even if they're dead, what I might say would be an intrusion on their privacy. And apart from that, I'm too lazy.'
Acquired: Borrowed a copy from my local library.
Reason for Reading: Roger Moore is the Bond I grew up with, the one I went to the movies to see as a teenager.
Comments: Right from the introduction Mr. Moore states that he will not be 'dirt-dishing' nor telling 'tittle tattle'; he wants to write a fun book filled with memories the way he saw them and the wonderful people he met in his life but he promises that does not mean it will be a 'fluffy book' either. Roger Moore lives up to this statement giving the reader a very enjoyable look inside his life without trashing anyone. He does mention a couple of names that he simply hates with a straightforward reason why, he tells stories leaving the irritating one unnamed and he mentions names and follows the "if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all rule" frequently. But Roger Moore is a charming fellow, very easy going, loves a prank or two, and can take a joke on himself as well so his book is filled with people he adored and those who adored him back.
Moore spends a good part of the book on his early life in England; his childhood, days in the army, acting on stage, becoming an actor in British movies. This was all very interesting and it's hard to believe that Roger Moore is really that old to have been in WWII! Even when acting in Britain the famous names start knocking about such as David Niven (a lifetime friend) and Michael Caine. Then he comes to America and makes a name for himself on the small screen starring in Maverick (replacing James Garner as his British cousin), then his famous Simon Templar as The Saint and finally The Persuaders with Tony Curtis. Not until we are closing in on page 200 does Roger Moore get to James Bond and the book has been so interesting up to this point that Bond is not the vital part of the book. Even if you started to read because of the Bond connection. I won't go into any more details but from there Moore continues on with Bond, his wives, his other movies and work, ending finally with his long association with UNICEF.
Moore comes across just as I had expected him too. He keeps his debonair, suave, gentlemanly air about him but he also has his tongue firmly planted in cheek at the same time. Even as a child he behaved this way, he calls himself on it frequently saying "ever the poseur". He tells some wonderful memories and anecdotes as he's been with all the greats throughout his career: Elizabeth Taylor, Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Noel Coward, Stewart Granger, Richard Burton and countless others.
The only thing I didn't enjoy about the book was the last few chapters which mostly focused pretty heavily on his UNICEF activities that it began to feel like an infomercial. I will state I don't support UNICEF for conscience reasons but I did enjoy hearing of the travel and good work he accomplished. But then it just seriously devolved into three chapters about UNICEF with Roger as the emcee. Otherwise, I had a very enjoyable read and certainly learned a lot more about the man who I previously only knew as The Saint and James Bond.